Cabezo de Alcalá, Azaila © Consorcio Patrimonio Ibérico de Aragón
Archaeological park of El Cabo © Consorcio Patrimonio Ibérico de Aragón
Remains of buildings in an Iberian village. Azaila archaeological site © Turespaña
Torrecremada © Consorcio Patrimonio Ibérico de Aragón
Remains of a settlement at the Cerro San Antonio archaeological site © Turespaña
Settlement of San Pedro © Consorcio Patrimonio Ibérico de Aragón
This cultural route is an excellent way to explore the Iberian settlements in the region known as Bajo Aragón. Located in the provinces of Teruel and Zaragoza, this territory contains an abundance of remnants dating from that time. Today, its archaeological sites and themed visitor centres offer the perfect opportunity to learn more about the culture and way of life of its ancient inhabitants, the Iberians.
Generally speaking, the sites we'll be visiting on this route are small-scale fortified settlements located on elevations in the terrain. The various visitor centres will provide us with additional information to give us a better idea of Iberian culture by means of audiovisual displays, models, recreations and the findings found in the sites themselves. You'll even have the opportunity to sample Iberian-inspired meals in some of the restaurants in the places on our route.
Several itineraries have been designed lasting one or more days, which can either be done under your own steam or accompanied by a specialised guide. These routes offer the chance to explore 19 ancient Iberian settlements in this area.
It is well worth a trip to the municipal district of Caspe, in the province of Zaragoza, to visit a couple of these places: La Tallada and La Loma de los Brunos. The most interesting feature of the first site is its defensive system, with a large moat excavated out of the rock. In the second you can see the remains of 18 burial mounds with a diameter of 3 or 4 metres.
Very nearby –about 45 kilometres away– is the most impressive site of them all, known as Cabezo de Alcalá. It is located in the province of Teruel, in the municipal district of Azaila, and is considered one of the most important of its kind in Spain. A little over 40 kilometres further on is the village of Andorra, the location of the necropolis and the archaeological park of El Cabo, based on the life-size recreation of an Iberian settlement and containing around 40 dwellings and a central street.
After 23 more kilometres we reach Oliete, with two further points of interest: El Palomar, where excavations have revealed an urban block containing 11 houses and four warehouses delimited by streets paved in stone; and the settlement of San Pedro, a defensive compound built to take maximum advantage of the terrain.
If we continue on for another 60 kilometres we come to Alcañiz, where we find the settlement of El Cascarujo, one of the best conserved Iberian necropolises in the Bajo Aragón area; the site of El Palao, the largest urban enclave dating from the Iberian-Roman era in the region, and where excavations have only just begun; and El Tarratrato, which was inhabited between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.
Alcorisa is 32 kilometres away and is the location of the excavated site of La Guardia; and 15 kilometres further on is the village of Foz Calanda, with the ancient ceramic kilns of El Olmo and Mas de Moreno (2nd-1st century B.C.), proof of the existence of a pottery centre which at one time supplied the local villages throughout the area.
We still have a few sites left to see. At a distance of 56 kilometres are the settlements of San Antonio and Tossal Redó, in Calaceite. Very nearby, in the municipal district of Mazaleón, are the settlements of San Cristóbal and Piuró del Barranc Fondo. Continuing on for 25 kilometres brings us to Cretas, the location of Els Castellans, and finally, in Valdeltormo at a distance of 16 kilometres, the sites of Torrecremada and Tossal Montañés, whose most interesting features are the surviving remains of the towers.
What to see on the route
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